Ford's electric F-150 range estimates are very conservative

You may drive much farther when you aren't hauling cargo.


Were you disappointed when Ford said the F-150 Lightning would offer an estimated 300 miles of range in its best trim level? You might not have reason to be so glum. Ford told YouTuber Marques Brownlee that its EPA range estimates for the electric pickup truck factor in 1,000lbs of cargo — you may well get considerably more range with a lighter load. Brownlee saw 367 miles of estimated range in an empty F-150 Lighting Platinum with an 80 percent charge, and estimated that a full charge would net about 459 miles.

The company already mentioned that the truck has a scale system in the back to adjust range estimates based on weight.

Ford didn't say why the F-150 hands-on model was claiming more range, or whether that longevity was certain to carry over to production units. As Brownlee suggested, though, this may be to take range anxiety out of the equation. You should get the quoted driving distance in many conditions, not just ideal circumstances with an empty bed. That's important for workplaces that will need to count on that range, of course, but it could also be crucial to acceptance for one of the first mainstream electric trucks.

There may also be a competitive incentive. Rivian is also touting 300-plus miles for the R1T, and 400-plus by early 2022. The Tesla Cybertruck is also poised to offer at least as much in its dual-motor variant. A conservative estimate on Ford's part could help the electric F-150 fare well against its most obvious rivals, even as they introduce longer-ranged versions in the future.